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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 18, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EST

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spite of the international community consensus that the north should denuclearize, it will continue down this path while pursuing economic recovery. the international community needs to be decisive and resolute in sending a strong message to pyongyang that it simply is not possible. ...
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number three is not a safe place to travel to pre and economic development strategy has been based upon tourism is really bringing into question young gent. enticing foreign investment as of remove to as provocation cycle, missile launches, and a clear test, not the conducive environment one would think one would be needed in order to bring in international investment. this type of consensus is built internationally. mom it need not be an in-your-face denuclearize charles threat, but it is when north korea is the unanimous voice which it is hearing, the should be more inclined toward a
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type of behavior and decisions that our policies are designed to elicit. >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. >> tonight on c-span2 book tv in prime-time then the first muslim member of congress talks about his biography at 9:00 eastern. later author of what is inside the bubble, a top ranked cigarette service agent walked away from metal. >> the all new c-span.org website is now mobile-friendly which means you can access our comprehensive coverage, politics , nonfiction books, and american history where you want
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to, when you want, and how you want. our news sites responsive design scales to fit any of your screens, on the monitor of your desktop computer, to your desktop and laptop or smart phone, whether at home, at the office, are on the go. check our program schedules or search our extensive video library whenever and wherever you want. the new c-span.org. >> standards for large trucks such as 18 whalers. he made the announcement at a grocery distribution center outside washington. >> today we are taking the next step. heavy-duty trucks and account for just 4 percent of all the vehicles on the highway.
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i know when you are driving sometimes it feels like mark, but it is more like 4 percent of all the vehicles. but they are responsible for about 20 percent of coverage pollution in the transportation sector. so trucks like these are responsible for about 20% of our on-run fuel consumption. and because they all about 70 percent of all domestic freight and a 70% of the stuff we use, everything from glass screen tvs to diaper's the produce to the, you name it, every mile that we gain in fuel efficiency is worth thousands of dollars of savings every year. so that is why we are investing in research to get more fuel economy gains. and thanks to our partnership between industry and my administration, the truck behind me was able to achieve a 75%
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improvement in fuel economy over the last year, 75%. that is why i call this the super truck. it is impressive. this one right here as well. i mean, these are -- first of all, there are really big. [laughter] but you can see how they redesigned the trucker in order for us to save fuel economy. and improving gas mileage for these trucks is going to drive down our oil imports even further which reduces carbon pollution even more, cuts down on businesses fuel cost, which should pay off in the lower prices for consumers. so it is not just a win-win, it is a win-win-win. >> an hour and a half after
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president obama's remarks on fuel efficiency standards for large trucks press secretary jay carney brief reporters back at the white house. the topics included the syrian soul war, human rights abuses in north korea, health care, and the midterm elections. >> good afternoon, everyone. i hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend. before i take your questions, i just wanted to know that the my brother's keeper event, which was postponed last week due to weather has been rescheduled for thursday, fed you're a 27. with that i take your questions. >> the geneva conference has officially closed down over the weekend with no plans at this
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but for them to resume. is the geneva process remains the administration's main focus in terms of a resolution on syria, or are you looking even just diplomatically for another process? >> well, the talks are in recess. that's correct. the international community needs to use this time determine how to use or rather, needs to move toward determining how to use this time, and most effectively in order to bring about a political solution. in answer to your question, it is still our view, absolutely, that there is not a military solution to this concept and debt negotiated political settlement is the only path for for syria and the geneva process is a process by which that is personable and achievable at this time. there is no question that it has not been a great amount of progress. it is important that the two sides sat down across from each
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other, but the international community needs to focus on how we can move this process forward >> what do you mean by using it most effectively? >> again, to work together to push the process forward, to make the diplomatic channel and the negotiation channel more productive so that progress can be made toward a solution that allows syria to move forward, allows for an end to the military violent conflict so that there is transition in syria away from civil war. >> and would be some of the things that the u.s. might look to do in this time and ordered to try to make those talks more effective? >> i don't have any announcement to make in terms of policy. we as a rule are always looking at all of our options and reviewing all options and new
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options when it comes to a situation like we find in syria. it should not be forgotten that the obstacle to progress here has been the regime, the opposition attended the geneva talks and conducted themselves appropriately. the regime, however, made clear that it is throwing up obstacles to moving forward and making progress. >> the disagreement with u.s. officials say that the discussion of these obscenities of options has taken on if not increased urgency but the renewed focus and looking at options that may be have been shelled previously? >> we get this question last week. i think that it is a standing proposition that the president is always looking for options available to him. >> nothing different about that process currently that there was
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a month ago? >> correct. there is not a new review of policy under way because of the assessments of where we are and the options that we have available to us to get where we need to be is ongoing. the fact of the matter is that the situation in syria is horrendous, as the president has said. you know, we are going to continue to work with our international partners to try to push this process forward. we should note that when it comes to the urgent need to allow for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the syrian people, we have been working with partners on the united nations security council to move forward on our resolution that would advance that cause. russia has been a holdout. it is notable that if you are going to of but -- proclaim your
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concern about the fate of the syrian people, one way to act on that concern as to not block progress in the united nations security council on a resolution that would provide humanitarian assistance that the syrian people so desperately need. >> is there any white house reaction to the u.n. report on confrontation escalation? >> i don't have any at this time. perhaps the state department does. >> there is no white house reaction to this report in north korea? this you and report about all the atrocities? >> as a matter of course, chuck, we are extremely vocal and critical about the appalling conduct of the number three in regime. i don't have a specific reaction to this report. i'm sure we can provide one to you, but it should come as no surprise to anyone that the united states and this administration is highly critical of the conduct of human rights in north korea and the persecution of people in north
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korea. and the highlight our differences in north korea on our range of issues constantly. yes. >> the president said that there are short-term steps and some intermediate steps to take on syria. what was the talk about? >> again, we are looking at the situation in syria understanding that the only resolution to this conflict is through negotiation. we absolutely recognize that the situation on the ground is terrible and that the syrian people are still under constant assault from the regime. we provide significant assistance to the opposition, including to the military opposition. we provide far and away the most significant amount of
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humanitarian assistance to the syrian civilian population. and we are at the forefront of the process in trying to produce a negotiated political stock to the settlement and syria. what i think we have been discussing over last several days, and the president was referencing is that we are constantly looking at options available to make no progress on the humanitarian front, on the effort to push forward on the geneva process, the negotiated settlement process because, again, that is the only way out of this for the syrian people and for the future of syria. and there is no question that we are all pained by what we see in syria. enormously frustrated by the obstructionism that the syrian regime participate send, the un helpful approach that russia has
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taken on the security council when it comes to the resolution regarding the humanitarian aid access. we're looking for ways to advance the policies that is a national security interest in the ad states and that it helps syria per restaurant negotiated political settlement. pressing the regime to engage constructively in an initiative political settlement. and that includes our partners and the security council and our partners elsewhere. the most important part of your question, i think, steve, is the sort of military engagement.
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and i think that while everyone is honestly concerned about and frustrated by the situation in syria, it should be on everyone's mind that when we look at the situation we are and we have to examine what the alternatives some might be proposing are and whether they are in our national security interest and whether a desire to do something about it could lead us or the united states to take action that can produce the kind of unintended consequences we have seen. >> is one other thing. vice president biden sounded very pessimistic. is there a recognition that this is not going to move forward? >> you know, steve, i think we talked about this of fair amount last week.
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it is the case today the value and the kinds of trade agreements that we are trying to negotiate is, i think race self-evident when you look at the economic growth that the region represents and the potential for american workers and businesses through exports to capitalize on that growth through a trade agreement that will protect american workers and the environment. that is why we think it is in the best interest of the united states. we are going to continue to press forward with priority, as we have in the past, and folks of recognizing that there are different views on these issues in both parties, not just the
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democratic party. move around a little bit. yes. >> of follow-up. remind us, and seat from control in syria? >> the united states policy is that and position is that serious future cannot include russia are autozone because the syrian people have so clearly shown that he cannot be a part of the future or transitional government in syria. that is not a decision that we make here in the united states. that is a decision that the syrian people have made and suffered in the past several years. at the hands of the brewing
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regime. there is no possibility in our view, and this is simply a reflection of the view of the syrian people and certainly of the opposition that a transitional government or governing authority could include the leader as part of it. but the purpose of the talks that have started, albeit without significant progress is to find a path toward and a transitional governing authority that can be agreed upon. the only way that can be agreed upon is that it not include the leader as far as the opposition is concerned and we certainly support that. our goal is to bring an end to the conflict through a negotiated political settlement and that, again, cannot be possible. >> if they're interested in supporting the opposition, is that in the president's the
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military intervention? is that extending the conflict? >> we do support the opposition and have supported the opposition for some time now in a variety of ways. we have made clear our views on different kinds of support and our concern over the course of this conflict when it comes to some provision of weapons that some people have suggested and others have proposed or engaged in that there is concern about that kind of weaponry falling into the wrong hands in a way that could pose a challenge or a threat to our national security interest of the national security interest of our allies in the region. >> the difficulties with the rollout as you look at midterms, would you regarded as overall an
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asset or an albatross with the democrats? >> it is a campaign press conference. >> a political question for you. >> i think that we have made enormous progress in the enrollment of millions of americans across the country. and i think that that tract is reflected in the diminished coverage of the health care website and the process involved in getting people enrolled. the problems that we had with the website obviously set back the effort, but the significant improvements we have seen in enrollments since the website began functioning effectively have been very welcome, obviously and, i think, demonstrates that the exchange is working in that the interest among millions of americans in getting quality of board above concerns remain intense.
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i think that as a general principle without gaining out election strategies, it is a difficult case to make despite the well-documented polling data on obamacare for republicans to say they want to take away the benefits that the affordable care act provides. it is a concrete reality now we have millions of americans who have quality affordable health insurance. you have millions more who have access to medicaid and those that have expanded it that they did not have before. and you have all of us across the country you enjoy other benefits from the affordable care act including the ability to keep our children on our health plans to the age of 26, including the fact that and see five insurance companies can no longer deny you @booktv id coverage based on a pre-existing condition. in a letter charging prices much
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as it would charge a twin brother to begin your woman. the millions of americans across the country. this has gone from an abstract debate is an effort to take away the efforts that they enjoy, and that is a difficult argument to make. i'm sure that it can be made here. not quite in allegis made it. i think everybody who is running on a repeal platform needs to explain why their constituents, the ones they currently represent the one they want to represent should have those benefits taken away so that the insurance companies can be put back in charge of their health care.
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>> negotiating with terror. we are hearing that talks have now rail on the release of bird dog. as the u.s. position changed? >> supported an afghan-led peace process and will continue to do so when it comes to sergeant burdock, our hearts go out to his family. he has been gone for far too long, and we continue to call for his immediate release. we cannot discuss all the details, but there shall be no doubt that we worked every day he's here military commandos as command diplomatic tools to see the sergeant returned home safely. we are not to go directly to your question, involved in active negotiations with the taliban. clearly of negotiations to resume at some point and we will want to talk about the safe return. we continue to call for and work
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toward the safe and immediate release. >> a concern about setting a new president? a special and unusual case? >> again, he is a special case in the sense that he had been gone far too long and we are concerned about an hour's drive his family. we have great sympathy for them. going through quite an ordeal. we've long seven support net kendis lead process of reconciliation with the taliban. we are not involved in any negotiations with the taliban. after negotiations. >> is the nest it's open to the idea of a prisoner exchange? >> i know the story you are referring to and can tell you that we will not discuss all the
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details of our efforts. with respect to guantanamo the president reiterated the need is a -- sign the fiscal year 2014 defense authorization act at this administration will not transfer a detainee unless the threat detainee may pose can be sufficiently mitigated in only one consistent with our humane treatment policy. >> so just to try to see this generally, a prisoner exchange him for a pow held by terrorist group, would that be negotiations with terrorists? >> first of all, we have long made clear we support an afghan- lead process of negotiations and reconciliation. we are not involved in active negotiations. if negotiations were to resume we would certainly press the case of the sgt. in the meantime we are on actively engaged in an effort to see his return. i cannot document every effort, but that includes our military, intelligence, and diplomatic
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tools. >> he said many times that there is no military solution to the problem in syria. is there or are their military options for stopping some of the killing that has been done by the regime? >> the president has said that he does not take the use of american military force of the table. so in that sense the military option always remains available and on the table. we have made clear we do not see american boots on the ground when we are looking at options we're very interested in actions that move the process forward toward the conclusion that we think is the only one that can lead to a resolution of the
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conflict in a way that is interested are national-security and their partners and allies in the region. we look obviously at all options, as we have been talking about the last several days and weeks. >> all options except for boots on the grounds. just to clarify, some of the -- some are suggesting a no-fly zone to ground the helicopters that are dropping merrill bombs on civilians, targeted airstrikes on the helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. are either of those military options under renewed consideration? >> of lot of ideas that have been discussed in the past and been put forward a late and in the press. recognize that. having said that the president would never take the use of military force off the table, we also firmly believe that there
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is not a military solution to this conflict. as a general principle, i think that the use of u.s. military force and the circumstances -- in a circumstance like this needs to be engaged in a -- with a clear right sense of what the content would be in the policy objectives would be that are being sought and can be achieved. >> but just trying to understand the process. he talked about in the press. these were clearly options the president decided not to pursue in the past. is there any renewed consideration given how bad the situation has gotten on the ground, you know, worse humanitarian crisis in a generation in the words are un ambassador. is there any renewed consideration of those military options? >> i don't have specific options to itemize that i can say are
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being considered beyond saying that we are always considering all possible options when it comes to advancing our goals in this terrible conflict. in our goals include the negotiated political resolution of the conflict in a way that allows for transitioning governing authority -- a transitional governing authority that does not include the sharp al a sonde and has significant syrian blood on his hands and that is in keeping with the interest and desires of the syrian people. >> but given how bad it has gotten and the apocalyptic language coming from some of the president's own top advisers on this, why wouldn't there be a renewed review and why wouldn't the president be asking for new options? why would the president be saying we have to do a review of this policy carried obviously it is not working. questions are getting worse. why wouldn't there be a new
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comprehensive review? .. review of options that is ongoing is not new but it is broad and it reflects a recognition that the conflict continues to exact a terrible toll on its people. it has significant regional implications and is a challenge
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to the national security interest of the united states and for those reasons this review is ongoing. the president takes no option off the table but nor does he rush rushed to or embrace an option that might sound good because of the frustration we all feel over the terrible situation there without thinking through the implications of the use of that option. >> you said earlier that the only resolution in syria is through negotiation but how do you pursue negotiations with someone who the secretary of state says is being put in an advantageous position because of russia's military help and who shows no sign of being willing to negotiate so it's one thing to say let's negotiate but it's very hard to see how we can get there. >> well build the fact is that
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was the case before we actually succeeded in establishing the process and before the parties actually sat down across from one another and -- >> we have not resulted trade. >> you are right we haven't resulted in a haven't brought an end to the conflict immediately. there has not been significant progress from those negotiations but it is only from those negotiations or because she shins as a general matter that this can be resolved. there is not a military outcome here that ends the civil war and allows for the syrian people to open a new chapter in their history. we need to work, because the work is hard and because it's frustrating doesn't mean it's not the right course. and we understand and share the enormous frustration that those
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who care about the syrian people and what they are suffering are experiencing. our goal is to pursue policies that provide the aid necessary to the syrian people to put pressure on our partners who have the capacity to either block or allow aid to reach the syrian people and to pursue policies that support and provide assistance to the opposition, the moderate opposition as we continue to press all parties to negotiate an end to this conflict. >> the this presumes when you continue to assume the schools which to put it mildly illusive. see what is the question? >> why would you not want to advance somehow the possibility that you could affect the regime change there? >> are you suggesting that we should invade or attack?
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i think of as the questions reflect the enormous suffering that is happening in syria and the frustration that everyone feels about that are completely understandable. concrete policy alternatives are even more welcome and if you have one let me know because i don't think that for example a u.s. invasion of the country in the region is something that would be in the national security interest of the united states or with the viewed by the american people or their representatives in congress as the right policy. >> jay was that the president himself at the podium that said the red line two years ago and said if they were to use the chemical weapons it's a red line and their enormous consequences? where are the consequences? it turns out assad is not turning over chemical weapons.
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chemical weapons and then he said he was turning them over and he's not. >> first of all there's no question that the assad regime has loaned some deadlines on the transport and delivery of its chemical weapons supplies. the regime is still committed to ridding itself of those supplies and russia is on the hook for making sure that as the regimes significant ally that those chemical weapons and the supplies are delivered and the regime is fully rid of chemical weapons as part of that agreement. now, the fact is the president said that was a red line and he threatened the use of force in response to that and because the threat was real, we saw the assad regime go from refusing to acknowledge he even had chemical
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weapons stock piles two of knowledge in that it had them and to reaching an agreement that they would give up those weapons. we are going to in the international community is going to hold both syria and russia responsible for the fulfillment. >> how can you hold them responsible when this has been going on for years and in answering john's question you said the review is ongoing and if the review is always ongoing does not suggest you are spinning your wheels because you are just reviewing and reviewing but there is not an endpoint to this. >> again you are conflating a bunch of things. we are talking about policy as a general matter not just with regards to chemical weapons but as a general matter in syria. we are constantly reviewing options that would allow us to provide more humanitarian aid to the syrian people and would allow us to provide more and more effective support for the opposition and it would allow us to advance the essential cause
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of diplomatic negotiations that could lead to eight peaceful political settlement to the conflict and a transitional government. those are the range of options that the president is constantly asking for and evaluating because we all recognize that progress has not been coming quick lead in syria and we need to gather with our partners to press for a solution here on behalf of the syrian people. >> a couple of things, one on national security. james leopard may come as "the daily beast" quote i probably shouldn't say this but i will. having been transparent from the outset after 9/11 which is the genesis of the 215 program metadata and the american people and their elected representatives need to cover this gap. he said we have been more transparent we wouldn't have these problems and edward snowden's leak's would have had
quote
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much of an impact on the american people at the intelligence community would have been more transparent. does the president agree with that assessment? >> well i certainly don't think director clapper is saying anything that should come as a surprise. it has gone all the way back to the event that led to the creation of some of these programs. >> both administrations i should point out. >> i think you have seen in what the president done as the steps he is has taken is we share the view that we need to enact reforms and take steps that provide more transparency to the american people and in a way that gives them more confidence that the intelligence gathering we engage in is done with full oversight and in accordance with the constitution and the law and it's done solely with the aim of protecting the american people and protecting the interest of the united states. >> last question. when asked before you up as he
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said he don't want to get too much into the politics that you think the health care will be a asset for the president in 2014. david axelrod now only of bo agrees with that but he is concerned the coat others are sending $20 million on senate races and he is concerned there are democratic activists to consider on 2016 and losing sight of the election ahead of you. does the white house or concerns that if the present loses control the senate that will be a big problem? >> again this is not a campaign briefing. i can tell you the president and his advisers are going to engage and do everything he can to assist democrats running in 2014 but he is principally focused on an agenda that's designed to expand opportunity to the american people, strengthen and expand the middle class for hard work and responsibility. >> the legislative agenda if you lose control of senate is going to be hard to get that agenda
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through is not? >> the democratic party is not going to lose control of the senate in our view and that's precisely because of the policies that he and democrat support that are focused on expanding opportunity as opposed to repealing benefits that are focused on providing broad support for the middle class so that it can become more secure going forward and more jobs are created as opposed to special interest loopholes that benefit the few. that that's sort of a general principle and the president feels very strongly that that approach is one that broadly speaking the american people support. >> turning to venezuela of the government there are trying to throw out three diplomats from the country. what is the u.s. response to that? are they going to go ahead and
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agree to the order and in the past there has been retaliation where the united states has asked venezuelan -- ordered venezuelan diplomats out of the country. >> i can tell you the venezuelan government has notified the united states that it has declared three of our consular officers. we have seen many times the venezuelan government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the u.s. other other members of the international community for events inside venezuela and these efforts reflect the lack of seriousness on the part of venezuelan government to deal with the grave situation it faces. the allegations against our diplomats by the venezuelan government are baseless and false. as we have long said venezuela's political future is for the venezuelan people to decide. we urge the venezuelan government to address its people's grievances forthrightly through real meaningful dialogue. the u.s. values as strong cultural ties with the venezuelan people and remains
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tied to our relationship with them. i don't have any reaction to the preview. >> or anything that says kicking anybody out of the. >> again i don't have access to that information. >> lopez has been the leader of the opposition turned himself into venezuelan authorities. >> we are deeply concerned about the violence in venezuela and are alarmed by the venezuelan armed gangs to disrupt peaceful protests which is disproportionate and threatens further escalation of violence. venezuelan authorities have arrested and detained scores of anti-government protests. we call on the government to release them immediately and provide political space necessary for meaningful dialogue with the venezuelan people. >> and if they don't do this is there an action you will take xp those responsible for acts of violence must be held to account for a partial investigation and
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independent judicial processes. i have no other action to give you. >> foreign-policy question going back to north korea. i know you guys have time and again publicly condemned actions of north korea. what about with china? is there anything beyond asking china to do more about north korea than the u.s. plans to do? >> well i mean that is no minor thing. china has unique and significant leverage with north korea and because of that fact we engage with the chinese directly on these matters and encourage the chinese. >> what has china been doing? >> i would simply say that we made clear to the chinese that we believe very strongly that it is in not just the u.s. interests but in the interest of regional security including in the interest of china that north korea take steps to de-escalate
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some of the provocative behavior that they engage in periodically and ultimately to get right with the international communities and comply with a series of united nations security resolutions that it is in violation of and we will continue to work with the chinese and others to help bring that about. >> i mean i guess the point is, does china realize that they can do nothing because there is not as if the united states is ever going to react? >> i think that we are working with the chinese on these issues as well as our partners in the region on a regular basis. >> back to syria. i know that we are all beating a dead horse on this but obviously there's a sense of urgency. is there a timeline that the president is operating on that okay you know what? he's not abiding by chemical weapons. this is still going on. you know they have got three
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weeks are up. is there some sort of timeline he's operating on in deciding whether to shift the policy or not? >> i think the way to answer that question shock is that we are actively engaged in the process of looking at the options available to the president to advance the goals that we believe are necessary. which include making sure that humanitarian assistance is being provided to the syrian people and we continue to be the lead nation in providing the assistance and making sure our assistance to the moderate opposition is being delivered and our assistance to the moderate armed opposition is being delivered. we continue to work on an international basis to press for the only path forward when it comes to resolving this conflict which is through the diplomatic channels and negotiated political settlement and on the matter of cw i've made clear that we believe that the assad
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regime as well as the russians must comply with their obligations to the international community when it comes to ridding the regime of its chemical weapons supplies so they can be destroyed. [inaudible] >> well there is no consequence to something that hasn't happened except to say this thia serious serious matter as we demonstrated last fall which led to this agreement and our international partners and we take it very seriously. >> the the resumption is of talks over iran's nuclear program does the administration still think there's a good chance of a comprehensive agreement? >> our view hasn't changed and we think it's absolutely the right thing to do. to test whether or not tehran is serious about resolving this conflict diplomatically. there is no question that the prospects for success you know
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are a matter of serious debate or they are far from a sure thing either way. but, because there is at least some prospect that tehran might be willing to in a verifiable transparent way convince the international community that it has forsaken pursuit of a nuclear weapon and we have ought to do that through diplomatic means. resolving this issue through the use of military force has to be something that we obviously don't take off the table but can't be a first option and because in the wake of their elections and the enormous pressure the unprecedented sanctions regime has placed on the economy the iranian government was moving to -- moving forward with talks and engaging in a comprehensive settlement discussions is worth
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exploring but we are obviously mindful of the fact that they may not result in an agreement but it does they present the opportunity we have to take it trade. >> one sticking point is there recent ballistic missile testing and how important is that to these talks? >> i want to be very clear, per the joint plan of action agreed to by i ran, i ran must address the u.n. security council resolution related to its nuclear program before comprehensive resolution can be reached. in other words they have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program included in the u.n. security council resolution that is part of explicitly according to the joint plan of action the comprehensive resolution negotiations so the u.n. security council resolution passed in 2010 prohibits i ran from undertaking activity
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related to ballistic missiles capable of both launching ballistic missile technology so that is explicitly agreed to by i ran and the joint plan of action. at think it's important to note that applies to all of the u.n. security council resolutions and this area that is explicitly referenced in the joint plan of action. scott and then mark. >> thinking back on the libyan intervention for a minute, the president spoke after that until the american people that the principles he acted on were vital american interest and an imminent humanitarian catastrophe in a military strike with partners. it was easy for a time in syria to see that the parallels were not there but now you see the syrian army is using -- moving on the ground in aleppo and the second city seat of the
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rebellion. why aren't those same parallels coming into clearer focus for the president? >> i think some of the parallels continue not to line up with the libyan example including the international agreement to take action, so as we have discussed in the past, so you know it is our view that there is not military, there's not a military resolution to this conflict and that we need to continue to press forward with an effort that is aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement between the two parties because that's the only way to ensure that syria has a fighting chance in the future as opposed to an extended ongoing conflict. >> the are we trying to engage the arab league to endorse their
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engagement? >> we are engaged with all of our partners in the region on this very serious issue. i wouldn't say that is around a certain perspective action that could be taken but as a general matter this is something that we need everyone who is concerned about the syrian people and the instability this conflict causes in the region to be engaged in so that we can help move the process forward. >> sounds like without security council support, you are not interested in any sort of, considering a military option and russia is not going to give you that so are you being hung up at the u.n. at this point? >> let me just be clear that we don't take on -- any option off the table. the president has made that clear. what we are focused on is a path forward that recognize and there is not a military solution to
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this conflict and that the only way forward for the syrian people is through a negotiated political settlement. now how we use our leverage in the leverage of others to help push that process forward is very much what we are engaged in now and the progress has been frustratingly slow. there's no question about it but it does not change the central fact in our view that there is not a military resolution to the conflict. >> you say that there is no military resolution of this conflict, there was in libya. was there a moment in this conflict when there was a military solution to it and has that moment passed and if you had acted then with would the situation be different now? in other words in waiting as long as you have to consider these things obviously the battlefield is a lot more complicated. >> i think the reasons that you better than most probably here understand there are a host of differences between libya and syria and that play into even
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hypothetical counterfactual is about what might have been in that conflict and what has been the case all along is that the president has pursued a policy he believes puts as a priority the united states national security interests and is supportive of an opposition that wants to rid itself and syria of a tour and a goal regime and that envisions working with partners in the region to help bring about a negotiated political settlement. so engaging hypotheticals about actions they could've taken by saying all of the things being equal and of course they weren't and aren't doesn't really get you very far. >> thanks jay. on minimum wage cbo has been looking at the effects of raising the minimum wage on credit.
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what do you say it raising the minimum job -- wage will cost jobs and cut hours? >> i would point them to the ample documentation from respected economists who say the opposite that there is not evidence it has significant impact on jobs and to the contrary it's beneficial to the economy and efficiency and productivity. the theory behind the opposition to raising the minimum wage that cost jobs if you tease it out all the way that it shouldn't be minimum wage at all. and there are probably fewer than 5% of the american pete of the believe that. let's just pay people a dollar an hour and nobody believes that is the right thing to do anymore than paying the full-time wages that keeps them below poverty is
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the right thing to do which the situation we have right now and there are far greater economic minds than this one who can attest to the fact that raising the minimum wage certainly in the way it's been proposed in the president supports is the right thing to do for the economy and does not have a significant impact on jobs. olivia. >> jay to the white house invite any of the original -- [inaudible] >> i do not have a list of participants but we will try to get those to you later in the day. the white house is hosting a screening as you know. the cast and crew have been invited along with officials from the state department's cultural heritage dinner who will our our country's modern day monuments men and women. in addition the white house curator known as the -- holocaust memorial museum will
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attended we will try to get you a full list. >> you one more on syria. in late january tractor clapper told congress the area is under control by the al-qaeda linked militants and it looks like they are becoming the new fata. did that change the present outlook on the usefulness or desirability during the conflict militarily in any capacity? >> it's testimony? >> well just -- that was news to at least maybe that was going on. finding out that this is becoming a new petri dish for this stuff, did that change the way he's thinking about it? >> i would say that among the many concerns that we have about the situation in syria is the presence of extremist and al-qaeda linked organizations and individuals and that is obviously a concern anywhere
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that it presents itself and it speaks to both sides of the issue when we talk about actions that you might take and one of the issues that has always been discussed with making sure that the provision of assistance gets into the right hands and isn't passed on to those who have designs on u.s. national security interests or on the interests of our allies so that as i something we are concerned about and certainly director clapper identified that in that testimony. >> jay specifically about the north american summit. trade is if not on the agenda it is close. what has the president told the other two leaders about the possibility of completing an accord of the transpacific partnership in all three countries and trying real hard to get finished.
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leaders of his own party have thrown up roadblocks. >> again i think it's a useful exercise when reporting on this discussion and debate to make sure that your readers are aware of the fact that was ever thus and the differing opinions on these matters are not new and the fact that there are different opinions within both parties is not new. obviously the president will be speaking on this during his visit broadly in terms of what the agenda is and what the discussion will be at the summit but we shouldn't pretend that the wheel has been re-created here when we talk about the differing views people have on matters of trade expansion. >> what the z. hope to accomplish tomorrow? >> we will have more information on the visit and the president himself will be speaking at the summit that these are obviously too close with partners and he
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looks forward to the discussion in the meeting. >> the government has moved in to clear out protesters. >> i don't have anything that has happened since i've been here included i don't have new information on it but i can tell you we are a paul at the violence that was already taken place in downtown kiev with reports of armed -- massing on the edge. we condemn excessive use of force by either side. the force will not resolve the crisis. to restore peace and stability we urge president yanukovych to de-escalate immediately the situation in the confrontation. we also urge him to restart abiola -- dialogue with opposition leaders to develop a way forward for ukraine. ..
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